32 Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers to Inspire Your Own Renovation (2024)

Table of Contents
Before: Dated and Disorganized After: Customized Kitchen Storage Before: Closed-Off Peninsula After: Colorful Kitchen Refresh Before: Builder-Grade Kitchen After: Modern Kitchen Remodel Idea Before: Functional But Dated After: High-Style Kitchen Before: Bland Neutral Kitchen After: Brassy and Bright Before: Narrow Kitchen Layout After: Open and Airy Before: Impractical Kitchen Design After: Efficient Cottage Charm Before: Ready to Remodel After: Modern Kitchen Update Before: Room for Improvement After: Bold Kitchen Style Before: Boxed-In Kitchen After: Contemporary Kitchen Makeover Kitchen Makeover in Stages Before: Green and Narrow After: Industrial-Style Kitchen Makeover Before: Bland and Awkward After: Bright, Beachy Kitchen Before: Too Much Wood After: Bright White Kitchen Remodel Idea Before: Brick and Stone After: Vintage-Modern Merge Before: Untapped Potential After: Family-Friendly Kitchen Before: DIY-Ready After: Modern-Traditional Kitchen Before: '80s Kitchen Remodel After: Bright and Spacious Before: Dark Open Kitchen After: Lovely and Light Before: Basic Builder-Grade Kitchen After: Brighter Blue Kitchen Before: Inefficient Kitchen After: Rustic-Style Kitchen Before: Tiny and Timeworn After: Dramatic Kitchen Remodel Idea Before: Out of Place Elements After: Improved Kitchen Layout Before: Cramped Quarters After: Airy Galley Kitchen Before: Standing-Room Only After: Inviting Island Seating Before: Dingy, Dark Kitchen After: Bright and Functional Before: Too Neighborly After: Reworked Cottage Kitchen Before: Lacking Character After: Cozy Farmhouse Kitchen Before: Awkward Kitchen Layout After: Pretty Kitchen Peninsula Before: Cramped Cooking Space After: Handsome Kitchen Makeover Before: Closed-Off Kitchen After: Expanded Kitchen Space Before: '90s Kitchen After: Classic Kitchen Remodel Idea

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Before: Dated and Disorganized

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A dated design and lack of storage limited this kitchen's potential. The too-small island and basic cabinetry left little room for stylish organization. This kitchen remodel idea included reworking existing features to boost storage without changing the layout.

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After: Customized Kitchen Storage

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Removing the doors converted two upper cabinets into open shelving, where plate racks organize dishes. The enlarged island now features open shelves on one end that store and display serving pieces. New appliances, a custom-built range hood, and a crisp white and gray color scheme modernize the space.

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Before: Closed-Off Peninsula

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Tan walls combined with orange-toned wood floors and cabinetry gave the kitchen a dated, monochromatic look. A peninsula closed off the kitchen from the dining area, disrupting the traffic flow. The homeowners embarked on a DIY remodel to give the dark, confined kitchen a brighter, more open feel.

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After: Colorful Kitchen Refresh

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Light blue paint now covers the dark wood cabinetry with playful color. Adding open shelves and swapping the island's granite countertop with a white quartz surface further lightened the room's visual weight. Moroccan tiles stretch to the ceiling for a bold dose of pattern.

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Before: Builder-Grade Kitchen

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This kitchen was outfitted with all the hallmarks of a lackluster builder-grade home. Oak cabinets, laminate countertops, and basic appliances offered function but lacked personality. However, an efficient layout that connected the kitchen to a breakfast area meant the floor plan didn't need changing during the kitchen remodel.

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After: Modern Kitchen Remodel Idea

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A two-tone paint job is a kitchen remodel idea that adds modern contrast to the new wood cabinets, which include white upper units that stretch to the ceiling to expand the ceiling height visually. Open shelves replaced one block of cabinets to reinforce the airy look. Graphic porcelain floor tiles add a bold punch of pattern, while upgraded appliances and butcher-block countertops round out the kitchen makeover.

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Before: Functional But Dated

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The existing floor plan of this 300-square-foot kitchen worked, but the rest of the elements needed an update. Plaid wallpaper and ornate iron hardware were not in sync with the homeowner's personal style. Darkly veined countertops and wood cabinets created a heavy, dated look.

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After: High-Style Kitchen

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Kitchen remodeling ideas were used to brighten the kitchen. The original cabinets were painted crisp white and a light blue-gray, and veined white quartzite replaced the dark granite countertops. New hardware and glass pendants above the island introduce shiny brass accents. Removing the old wallpaper made way for a sleek subway tile backsplash.

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Before: Bland Neutral Kitchen

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Neutral color schemes work well in kitchens, but too much white can leave the space feeling bland and impersonal. This suburban kitchen went from boring to bursting with texture, pattern, and personality. The kitchen renovation was all accomplished within its existing floor plan.

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After: Brassy and Bright

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Moving the sink to the window gave this kitchen a harder-working U-shape layout. Mushroom-color cabinets contrast with white quartz countertops and a subway tile backsplash. The reasonably priced backsplash tile was taken up to the ceiling for an added sense of height. Brass cabinet hardware and vintage columns on the breakfast bar add history without dating the look.

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Before: Narrow Kitchen Layout

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This cramped kitchen lacked a logical flow, causing traffic to stop. A poorly placed peninsula blocked the path between the kitchen and dining room. A kitchen remodel gave it an open layout to make the space more functional.

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After: Open and Airy

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To improve the flow of the room, the sink and faucet were moved from the peninsula to the exterior wall beneath a new, smaller window. The peninsula was also replaced with an island. The refrigerator is now near a breakfast and coffee station closer to the dining room to simplify morning routines. Covering the entire wall, the porcelain tile backsplash mimics the look of Carrara marble to save money without sacrificing style.

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Before: Impractical Kitchen Design

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Dated track lighting and lackluster cabinets created a kitchen design that appeared stuck in the past. Plus, the dishwasher was nowhere near the sink, causing dirty dishes to leave a trail of water as they went from sink to dishwasher. This before-and-after kitchen remodel idea reconfigured the layout and added cottage-style charm.

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After: Efficient Cottage Charm

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A smart kitchen renovation made better use of the kitchen's footprint. To make the kitchen feel less secluded, the homeowners opened a wall, moved a hallway door two feet towards the windows, and rotated the island 90 degrees, which helped expand the kitchen throughout the entire space. White shiplap, painted cabinets, and open shelves infuse the kitchen with farmhouse flair. With the dishwasher now tucked into the island, dirty dish drips are a thing of the past.

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Before: Ready to Remodel

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This kitchen was cramped and isolated from the rest of the first-floor rooms. Drab finishes imparted no personality, and clunky appliances were eyesores. Thanks to a kitchen remodel idea that included tearing down a wall and reviving the surfaces, the kitchen is now a sleek spot to cook and gather.

After: Modern Kitchen Update

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After knocking down a wall, this townhome kitchen remodel created an L-shaped layout with a spacious island that offers space to entertain, gather, and cook. To save on remodeling costs, the range, sink, and dishwasher remained where they were. Gray wood base cabinets, glossy white upper cabinets, and wood-look tile floors set a warm, modern style, which is continued with the soft sage tile backsplash.

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Before: Room for Improvement

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This original kitchen was too small and separated from the living room by a tiny dining area. Dated yellow appliances and a matching sink aged the room, as did fading dark cabinetry and beige floor tiles. Clever kitchen remodel ideas, including a more functional floor plan and a ceiling lift, helped update the space.

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After: Bold Kitchen Style

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Removing walls was a kitchen remodel idea that helped reconfigure this layout to create a sunny, open space. The homeowners used drywall, lattice strips, and metallic paint to make a focal-point range hood. The home's black-and-white palette continues in the kitchen, along with bold accent fabrics to tie it to the rest of the living areas.

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Before: Boxed-In Kitchen

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The boxy design of this 1943 home needed a kitchen remodel idea that would remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room. During construction, the original 12×10-foot kitchen, which housed only one small window, was opened to an adjacent room, creating a 26×12-foot space. While updating the paint, hardware, cabinetry, and appliances, the homeowners added three large windows, further expanding the visual appeal.

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After: Contemporary Kitchen Makeover

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Revved up with red, this space now lives large with smart kitchen makeover ideas including DIY concrete countertops and an efficient U-shape layout. The concrete counters add a rough, industrial feeling to the contemporary kitchen, which combines a sleek stainless-steel backsplash and laminate cabinetry. The counter-depth refrigerator has the appearance of a built-in model but is more affordable.

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Kitchen Makeover in Stages

Kitchen makeovers don't have to happen all at once. Tackling kitchen remodel ideas in stages can help you fit a large-scale update into your schedule. Check out how you can work on your kitchen just a few steps at a time.

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Before: Green and Narrow

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Five years in a too-small space gave these homeowners a clear vision of their kitchen remodel idea. An addition at the back of the circa 1920s house gave them the area they needed to bring their vision to life. With a tiny island but no room for a table, a true eat-in kitchen wasn't an option. A total kitchen makeover revamped the space with a sophisticated, clean-line aesthetic and high-performance features.

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After: Industrial-Style Kitchen Makeover

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Inspired by a favorite restaurant, this family kitchen becomes a sophisticated, industrial-style hangout. Pale gray perimeter cabinets, a deeper blue-gray island, and steel shelves flank the range while delivering a bistro-like impression. The kitchen's large scale allowed the homeowners to reorient the island and forgo hanging cabinets for sleek metal shelves.

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Before: Bland and Awkward

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The awkward layout of this 1980s kitchen demanded an update. During the kitchen remodel, the homeowners shifted appliances and a doorway to create an efficient work core and improve flow. To allow space for a banquette, they moved a partial wall a few feet into the family room and shortened its length.

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After: Bright, Beachy Kitchen

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White cabinetry and whitewashed oak flooring give this kitchen a beachy feel. The double-wide island, which is more than a foot wider than the original, provides a focal point as well as a storage boost. Subway tiles in seafoam green (instead of the usual white) add a boost of color. The smooth, glossy tiles run to the ceiling, providing a textural changeup from all the wood. A built-in fridge lines up with the island, allowing a straight path from the mudroom to the breakfast area.

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Before: Too Much Wood

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To break this dated kitchen out of its style rut, the homeowners needed a brighter, fresher look with added function. Painting the broad expanse of wood kicked off this kitchen remodel. Other much-needed updates included opening up the kitchen's layout to capitalize on natural light, shifting appliance placement for better efficiency, redesigning the island, and installing a banquette breakfast area.

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After: Bright White Kitchen Remodel Idea

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Bright white paint on the cabinets rescued this open kitchen from its sea of same-color wood finishes. A contrasting paint job on the island introduces a favorite color that might be too bold for perimeter cabinets. Outfitted with seating and storage, the new island brings high function to the space. Moving the cooking appliances to the island during the kitchen renovation made room for an over-the-sink cutout facing the sunny dining room, which helps bring in natural light.

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Before: Brick and Stone

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This kitchen needed some serious polishing but no significant structural changes. To update the space, layers of laminate flooring were removed to make way for cork. The brick that encases the lower cabinets was painted satin-finish white to provide a crisp border around the wood doors.

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After: Vintage-Modern Merge

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Homeowners installed the tile backsplash, while professionals handled the cork flooring and quartz surfacing. The quartz countertops, which are typically less expensive than granite or marble, were picked for practicality (it's essentially stainproof) and because of their modern feel. The new open layout was fully painted and updated except for the custom hood, original to the midcentury modern house.

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Before: Untapped Potential

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This small kitchen needed a big expansion to fit a family of six. Taking over the space of an unused porch allowed these homeowners to create a kitchen and breakfast nook that accommodates everyone. After deciding against pricey custom cabinets, the homeowners were able to save thousands of dollars by adding custom touches to stock cabinets to achieve the look they wanted.

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After: Family-Friendly Kitchen

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Barely-there gray cabinets create a neutral kitchen with a sophisticated style. The granite countertops and gray subway tile backsplash pair perfectly with the color scheme for a timeless, soothing space. Kitchen makeover ideas such as turned legs on the island and a bespoke vent hood create a kitchen that feels high-end and custom, but the durable granite counters and hardwood floors are perfect for this busy family's daily use.

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Before: DIY-Ready

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The kitchen in this charming Cape Cod home needed a lot of work, but that didn't scare off the DIY-savvy homeowners. To create a space large enough for their family, they knocked down the wall between the dining room and kitchen. They then installed reclaimed wood floors and assembled and finished the stock base cabinetry.

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After: Modern-Traditional Kitchen

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The kitchen remodel idea showcases the mix of modern and traditional elements found throughout the rest of the home. The island was built from stock cabinetry and topped with concrete and butcher-block countertops. Stainless-steel shelves replace upper cabinets, creating a kitchen that is bright and open.

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Before: '80s Kitchen Remodel

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This space was renovated in 1980, but it didn't make good use of the room's size and shape. A dated color scheme and checkerboard wood floor left the kitchen looking tired. A variety of kitchen remodel ideas helped lighten and brighten the space and create a more sophisticated kitchen.

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After: Bright and Spacious

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New floor-to-ceiling cabinets take advantage of the room's vertical space. One window was replaced by two to bring more light into the room, while the white cabinets, countertop, and backsplash make the narrow room seem bigger. An island adds seating and prep space to the center of the room.

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Before: Dark Open Kitchen

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Although it had an open layout, this kitchen felt dark and closed-in. Deep brown walls and a black tile backsplash created a heavy, dated look. Basic golden oak cabinetry was the most prominent of the unattractive features.

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After: Lovely and Light

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The old island was swapped for a new custom peninsula with a built-in banquette to create better cohesion between the kitchen's eating area and workspace. Removing a door between the kitchen and the attached mudroom provided better access to storage.

With all these functional changes, surface updates were a must. White cabinetry and shiny metallic accents add glamour. A stunning range hood and floor-to-ceiling marble backsplash create an eye-catching focal point along the back wall to anchor the kitchen's airy look.

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Before: Basic Builder-Grade Kitchen

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This builder-grade kitchen was sufficient, but it had the potential to be so much more. The broad lengths of cabinetry and efficient layout didn't need major updates. A few cosmetic tweaks and the addition of island seating helped this kitchen look and perform its best.

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After: Brighter Blue Kitchen

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The existing cabinets received a facelift with color and new hardware. This money-saving move made room in the budget for other items that boosted the functional aspects of the kitchen. A counter-depth refrigerator (not pictured) replaced a large, traffic-blocking model, and a new, longer island now boasts seating and bright blue paint.

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Before: Inefficient Kitchen

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While this open kitchen had some strong qualities, the skimpy trim and ho-hum oak cabinets kept it from reaching its full potential. Plus, the refrigerator was shoved awkwardly into a corner, which prevented its doors from opening completely. The two storage closets were ill-conceived but full of potential.

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After: Rustic-Style Kitchen

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In this kitchen remodel idea, the refrigerator shifted to where the once skimpy pantry sat, and the inefficient laundry closet (at left) was reworked as a new pantry, complete with a fun sliding message center. New to-the-ceiling cabinets fill the space where the awkward soffit sat. Cosmetic upgrades, such as crown molding and heart-pine floors, capture vintage style in the newer home.

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Before: Tiny and Timeworn

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The kitchen's dated white appliances and orangey oak cabinets stuck out in this well-appointed home. A new cabinet color and surface updates helped transform the dowdy kitchen. And the best part? The entire kitchen renovation was done on a practical budget.

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After: Dramatic Kitchen Remodel Idea

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For less than $9,000, the kitchen now sports dramatic black cabinets and granite veneer countertops. The soffit above the cabinets and newly installed molding were painted the same color as the cabinets, offering the look of custom cabinets. Creamy white walls, brushed-nickel cabinet hardware, and glossy new appliances add to the kitchen's elegant facelift.

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Before: Out of Place Elements

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This 13x13 kitchen didn't fit in with the rest of the charming Colonial home's interior. To save money, the homeowners kept the appliances in their original locations. By working within the existing footprint, they could focus on adding loads of charm with kitchen remodel ideas that created a welcoming space for their young family.

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After: Improved Kitchen Layout

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Removing the island was the main priority in this kitchen remodel; a close second was replacing the builder-grade cabinets with semi-custom cabinetry. The island was replaced with a peninsula, giving the homeowners better traffic flow and a casual seating area. A colorful yet subtle backsplash adds personality and charm to this kitchen remodel.

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Before: Cramped Quarters

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The galley kitchen in this 1920s home needed to be brought into this century. The homeowners wanted to keep the original step-saving design, but a few kitchen remodel ideas made the layout more practical. Knocking out a wall between the kitchen and the dining room drastically improved how the space is used.

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After: Airy Galley Kitchen

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Removing one wall added ten valuable inches to the galley kitchen. The homeowners also stole a foot of space from the dining room, making it possible to add a peninsula for added storage and a serving buffet. Timeless finishes outfit the vintage-style kitchen, including a subway tile backsplash and crisp white cabinetry.

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Before: Standing-Room Only

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An ideal neighborhood trumped a less-than-perfect interior, so these homeowners made this house a home, starting with a kitchen renovation. Overall, the layout was sound, but the kitchen lacked an island that could accommodate seating for guests and casual dinners. The builder-basic space also lacked personality.

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After: Inviting Island Seating

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The existing cherry cabinets didn't fit the homeowners' style, but they didn't want to rip them out. Some of the upper cabinets got a coat of white paint, while the island was brightened with a pale blue hue. Stock cabinets and chunky traditional-style legs found online expand the island and create a much-needed seating area. A larger window and the painted cabinets help this kitchen feel airy and bright.

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Before: Dingy, Dark Kitchen

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Dated and barely functioning cabinets were a big eyesore in this white-on-white kitchen. However, the fading finishes weren't white anymore, making the kitchen feel dirty. A kitchen renovation resulted in a brighter, more functional space.

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After: Bright and Functional

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New cabinetry and appliances give this kitchen makeover a clean, updated look. A simple gray-and-white color palette brightens the room, while schoolhouse-red stools and multi-colored dishware deliver pops of color. Open shelving against plank walls offers an attractive combination of form and function.

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Before: Too Neighborly

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This kitchen needed a whole new layout to function at its best. The sink window previously stared directly into the neighbor's dining room. Dated finishes and awkward use of square footage were also tipping points in this kitchen's path to a remodel.

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After: Reworked Cottage Kitchen

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Moving the sink area to the underutilized bay window (in the background of the before photo) opened up better layout possibilities for the kitchen. A slim but sized-right island replaced a traffic-blocking peninsula. Airy, soothing colors and materials lighten the overall look. White cabinets, Crema Marfil perimeter countertops, maple on the island, white subway tiles, and stainless steel are classic choices durable enough to stand daily use and the test of time.

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Before: Lacking Character

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Though their kitchen looked nice, the homeowners craved a mature look and a more functional space. The shiny white plastic cabinets lacked character and were falling apart; the cabinetry's thin veneer finish was bubbling up, and the door hinges were falling off. A pair of stools pulled up to the island offered the only eating spot, which wasn't sufficient for a family of four.

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After: Cozy Farmhouse Kitchen

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The kitchen remodel ideas for this farmhouse space are rooted in mixing and matching. A balance of wood and white cabinets keeps the space bright while creating the illusion that the room was updated over decades instead of a few days. Some of the wall cabinets reach to the ceiling, creating additional storage and display areas. A banquette added next to the kitchen island frees up counter space and provides extra dining space for the family.

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Before: Awkward Kitchen Layout

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The white U-shape kitchen was functional but boring. Upper cabinets cut off the view between the kitchen and the breakfast area, making the kitchen feel small and dark. A renovation opened up the space and introduced new personality.

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After: Pretty Kitchen Peninsula

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Removing the cabinets hanging between the kitchen and breakfast area made the two areas function as one family-friendly space. A large peninsula is perfect for doing homework or serving food buffet-style. Taupe cabinets and cool blue tiles set a soothing mood.

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Before: Cramped Cooking Space

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This strange kitchen layout had an inconvenient peninsula jutting into the middle of the workspace. This effectively isolated the cook and made navigating the room difficult. Switching around the floor plan improved traffic flow to make the kitchen more efficient.

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After: Handsome Kitchen Makeover

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A new layout and furniture-style cabinets that match the rest of the home's vintage charm were key to this kitchen renovation. The range was moved to the opposite wall for a more practical layout. A trio of windows lets light stream into the sunny space.

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Before: Closed-Off Kitchen

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An angular wall kept the kitchen (and the cook) separate from gatherings and conversation. The lack of light and bland cabinet color made the kitchen seem cave-like and dreary. A kitchen remodel opened the space for a brighter, more inviting feeling.

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After: Expanded Kitchen Space

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Knocking down the wall of cabinets, along with the addition of two skylights, brings tons of light to the remodeled kitchen. A large island replaces any lost storage while adding seating and prep space. The dark wood floors contrast with bright white cabinets to give the kitchen presence.

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Before: '90s Kitchen

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Teal countertops made this kitchen look straight out of the 1990s. Since this home's foyer opened directly into the cooking space, the dated kitchen was the first thing to greet guests. An awkward layout, dismal storage, and vinyl flooring meant a kitchen remodel was severely needed.

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After: Classic Kitchen Remodel Idea

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A few thrifty decisions and well-calculated splurges revived this kitchen's purpose and look. The angled sink wall was replaced with a perpendicular wall, and the sink was moved a few feet over so it wasn't the first thing guests saw. An inviting breakfast bar—one of the splurges—adds a spot for quick meals. Painting the stock cabinets in two neutral colors offers a custom look for much less. Granite countertops and hardwood floors in Brazilian cherry finish give the kitchen polish.

32 Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers to Inspire Your Own Renovation (2024)
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